White Hills
Frying on this Rock
Thrill Jockey
Street: 03.19
White Hills = Fu Manchu + Monster Magnet + Louder than Love-era Soundgarden
I have imagined, more than once, that I was Godzilla, smashing cities with gleeful abandon. Pretending the car is the Millennium Falcon? Done that, too. Thanks to White Hills, I have a new album to cue up as a soundtrack. Frying on this Rock is a visceral listening experience as well, not simply limited to imagination time, of course. Producer Martin Bisi and White Hills make a fantastic team, filling the sonic spectrum yet never letting things get muddy, never shying away from exploration. Several long fuzz-wah guitar solos appear in the foreground without apology. Frying on this Rock is not entirely without minor flaws; there is a segment of conceptual spoken word. However, with five good songs to make that quite easy to forget, I’d recommend this album to anybody seeking a solid psych/deep space metal record. –T.H.

Wordsmith
King Noah
NU Revolution Entertainment
Street: 06.19
Wordsmith = Eric B. & Rakim + Big L
The hardest things to combine in music are spirituality and hip hop, but Wordsmith has done it on King Noah, garnering major respect for his vision and narrative. The LP is a tribute to his young son, “his blueprint layout for life.” Wordsmith spits an emotional intro to every track. Dancing vocally on every bar, his infamous skill shines as he takes us on this life journey. The beats are rose colored, the vibe that of hope and positivity. Speaking of our hungry age on ”Generation X,” it seems as though he is pursuing the most important conversation of his life (he completely is) and that, my friends, is straight powerful. This hip-hop lullaby is well worth a listen, even if you’re out of the cradle and way beyond being saved. –Meera Masud